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  • Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

    I realized a while back that all of the hot chocolate we had in the house contained trans fats, so I tossed it all in the trash. Now that the weather’s gotten cold, I set out to make my own cocoa mix but the vast majority of recipes contain powdered milk, which I don’t have on hand at the moment and don’t feel like buying. And I always have milk in the fridge so I didn’t need an instant mix that only required hot water. I managed to find this Martha Stewart mix which has turned out to be quite good – especially with half of a Trader Joe’s peppermint marshmallow (a whole one makes the drink too sweet). I used cocoa powder that I already had on hand, but I will be keeping an eye out for fair trade cocoa powder. (I’m not buying non-fair trade chocolate, but I am using up what I already had.)

    Homemade Hot Chocolate
    Makes 5 3/4 cups dry mix or 92 eight-ounce servings

    3 1/2 cups sugar
    2 1/4 cups cocoa
    1 tablespoon table salt
    Whole milk for serving

    1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, and salt, and whisk to combine well. Store the mixture in an airtight container.

    2. For individual servings, pour 1 cup whole milk into a microwave-safe mug, and microwave on high just until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa mix, and stir to dissolve. For a larger batch of cocoa, warm the milk in a saucepan set over medium-low heat, taking care not to let the milk boil; as it warms, stir in 2 tablespoons of mix for each cup of milk.

    1. I figured superfine sugar would dissolve better, but I didn’t have any, so I pureed regular sugar in my electric food mill, then added the cocoa and salt. (Pureeing the cocoa broke up those little clumps.)

    2. To make the cocoa, I fill a mug 3/4 of the way with 1% or nonfat milk (about 6 oz.), and microwave on high for one minute. Then I stir in two tablespoons of cocoa mix, top with half a Trader Joe’s peppermint marshmallow, and microwave for another 30 seconds. This makes the hot chocolate frothy and helps make the marshmallow melty.


    1. You might just have changed my life – I had no idea Trader Joe’s have peppermint marshmallows! Wicked.

      Homemade cocoa mixes have never had any allure for me, since I don’t like powdered milk (and non-dairy creamer? shudder) and it isn’t a big deal to put a couple teaspoons of sugar and a teaspoon of cocoa in a mug. But your recipe would be a time saver, especially now that one of my sons has discovered that “real” cocoa is much better than the Swiss Miss he has always felt compelled to drink. So I would like to make it easier for him to make his own cocoa. Many thanks for this post!

    2. What a super idea! Why did I not realize that I don’t need to find a powdered milk substitute?

      I cannot have dairy and discovered non-dairy, gluten-free powdered milk substitutes are hard to find and expensive.

      I am going to try your idea and start with my typical milk sub, rice milk! Thanks!

    3. Chief Family Officer says:

      MaryM and Tamara – I’m glad you both find the recipe useful! One thing I should add, though, I think the very best hot chocolate is simply melting my favorite chocolate into hot milk – it has a more silky texture and richer flavor than cocoa powder. But the mix is easier, and more than an adequate substitute. I’ve been having a mug every night!

    4. Hi Cathy,

      I’m glad I bumped into your blog entry. I’ve got 2 boys I would like to wheen off of swiss miss — mostly because it is a mix of chemicals and who-know-what.

      But I wonder — do you kids actually like the mix, or is it something you consume yourself?


    5. I have made this mix many times and it tastes great though if you don’t use superfine sugar, the mix tends to clump a bit at the bottom. It does taste a lot richer with milk, however, my roomate is lactose-intolerant and thinks this mix is delicious! (and way cheaper than store-sold dairy-free mixes).

      Personally, I do prefer my homemade mix that uses powdered milk. It is far creamier and richer of a texture.